African Studies

African Studies

Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

About African Studies 

Gain experience by participating in research at the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples. In the grasslands of East Africa lie clues to the origins of humankind. West Africa reveals the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the rich and flourishing empires that were contemporary with medieval Europe. Societies in North Africa have been shaped by the westward spread of Islam. In the continent's mineral-rich centre are national boundaries born of colonialism. From civil war in the Congo to "truth and reconciliation" in post-apartheid South Africa, modern Africa poses challenges and opportunities worthy of serious study.

African Studies is concerned with issues of social, political, economic and cultural development from pre-colonial Africa to the present day. A degree in African Studies will offer you the challenge of personal and political insight, and it will encourage you to grow intellectually beyond the confines of traditional academic learning.

From inspiring political leadership to health and economic development and the challenges associated with it, you’ll discover why Africa is a continent of great historical and contemporary global importance. Pursue your individual interests in Africa through a series of courses that offer a variety of approaches to the area in a number of different disciplines.

  • Examine the African influence in the Americas through the rhythms of R&B, reggae and jazz. Study present-day Africa through news media and rigorous scholarship. 
  • The program has an active student organization: the York University Black Students Alliance (YUBSA). You have the opportunity to assist with such events as the All-Africa Students Conference attended by students, academics and diplomats from Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The Stephenson Scholarship in African Studies is awarded annually to continuing undergraduate or graduate students pursuing an interest in African Studies at York.
  • Study with leading professors such as Paul Lovejoy, Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora.


Possible Career Paths
Diplomat, international development officer, policymaker, activist, program manager



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Program Details

Offered by

Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Degrees offered


Ways to study

Full-Time, Part-Time

Fall entry


Winter entry


Summer entry



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